Site Map

Gastric bypass surgery - discharge

Bariatric surgery - gastric bypass - discharge; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass - discharge; Gastric bypass - Roux-en-Y - discharge; Obesity gastric bypass discharge; Weight loss - gastric bypass discharge

You were in the hospital to have gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. This article tells you what you need to know to take care of yourself in the days and weeks after the operation.

When You're in the Hospital

You had gastric bypass surgery to help you lose weight. Your surgeon used staples to divide your stomach into a small upper section, called a pouch, and a larger bottom section. Then your surgeon sewed a section of your small intestine to a small opening in this small stomach pouch. The food you eat will now go into your small stomach pouch, then into your small intestine.

You probably spent 1 to 3 days in the hospital. When you go home you will be eating liquids or puréed foods. You should be able to move around without too much problem.

What to Expect at Home

You will lose weight quickly over the first 3 to 6 months. During this time, you may:

These problems should go away as your body gets used to your weight loss and your weight becomes stable. Because of this quick weight loss, you will need to be careful that you get all of the nutrition and vitamins you need as you recover.

Weight loss slows down after 12 months.


You will remain on liquid or puréed food for 2 or 3 weeks after surgery. You will slowly add soft foods and then regular food, as your health care provider told you to do. Remember to eat small portions and chew each bite very slowly and completely.

Do not eat and drink at the same time. Drink fluids at least 30 minutes after you eat food. Drink slowly. Sip when you are drinking. Do not gulp. Your provider may tell you not to use a straw, as it may bring air into your stomach.

Your provider will teach you about foods that you should eat and foods you should stay away from.


Being active soon after surgery will help you recover more quickly. During the first week:

If you have laparoscopic surgery, you should be able to do most of your regular activities in 2 to 4 weeks. It may take up to 6 weeks if you have open surgery.

Before this time, DO NOT:


Make sure your home is set up for your recovery, to prevent falls and make sure you are safe in the bathroom.

If your provider says it is OK, you may start an exercise program 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

You do not need to join a gym to exercise. If you have not exercised or been active in a long time, be sure to start off slowly to prevent injuries. Taking a 5- to 10-minute walk every day is a good start. Increase this amount until you are walking 15 minutes twice a day.

Wound Care

You may change the dressing every day if your provider tells you to do so. Be sure to change your dressing if it gets dirty or wet.

You may have bruising around your wounds. This is normal. It will go away on its own. The skin around your incisions may be a little red. This is normal, too.

Do not wear tight clothing that rubs against your incisions while they heal.

Keep your dressing (bandage) on your wound clean and dry. If there are sutures (stitches) or staples, they will be removed about 7 to 10 days after surgery. Some stitches can dissolve on their own. Your provider will tell you if you have them.

Ask your provider when it is safe to shower. When you can shower, let water run over your incision, but do not scrub or let the water beat down on it.

Do not soak in a bathtub, swimming pool, or hot tub until your provider says it is OK.

Press a pillow over your incisions when you need to cough or sneeze.


You may need to take some medicines when you go home.

Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and some other drugs may harm the lining of your stomach or even cause ulcers. Talk with your provider before you take these drugs.


To help you recover from surgery and manage all the changes in your lifestyle, you will see your surgeon and many other providers.

By the time you leave the hospital, you will likely have a follow-up appointment scheduled with your surgeon within 1 to 2 weeks. You will see your surgeon several more times in the first year after your surgery.

You may also have appointments with:

When to Call the Doctor

Contact your provider if:

Related Information

Type 2 diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnea - adults
Coronary heart disease
Body mass index
Gastric bypass surgery
Laparoscopic gastric banding
Your diet after gastric bypass surgery
After weight-loss surgery - what to ask your doctor
Before weight-loss surgery - what to ask your doctor
Getting out of bed after surgery
Wet-to-dry dressing changes


Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2985-3023. PMID: 24239920

Mechanick JI, Apovian C, Brethauer S, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric surgery patient 2019 update: cosponsored by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, the Obesity Society, American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery, Obesity Medicine Association, and American Society of Anesthesiologists. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2020;16(2):175-247. PMID: 31917200

Richards WO, Khaitan L, Torquati A. Morbid obesity. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 48.

Sullivan S, Edmundowicz SA, Morton JM. Surgical and endoscopic treatment of obesity. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 8.


Review Date: 7/20/2022  

Reviewed By: John E. Meilahn, MD, Bariatric Surgery, Chestnut Hill Surgical Associates, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complied with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information from 1995 to 2022, after which HON (Health On the Net, a not-for-profit organization that promoted transparent and reliable health information online) was discontinued.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2024 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.